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Why help files do not always work in Windows
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DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorGSyren
Profiling since 2001
Registered: March 14, 2007
Reputation: Highest Rating
Sweden Posts: 2,937
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Sometimes Windows throws you curve balls. You figure out what's going on, handle it when necessary, and eventually you forget that maybe not everybody is privy to the little secret. And here is one of them.

Did you ever try to open a help file, and it showed up something like this? Just the content treeview but nothing else?



The thing is that quite some time ago, Microsoft found that help files of the chm type could actually contain harmful code. So if you download them from the Internet and copy them into a drive that is not your system drive, say for example on D:, then it would be flagged as blocked, and you would have to unblock it. To do that you would have to go into Explorer and right click on the file, then select Properties.



Sorry that his is in Swedish. I have a Swedish version of Windows. But I think you'll get the idea. At the bottom there is a checkbox named Unblock. You need to click that and then OK. This is Windows 10. I believe that it may be a button in some earlier versions of Windows, but it would still say Unblock.

Once you have unblocked it, it will display correctly.

Of course, this raises a couple of questions. Why is the help file not a threat if it is copied to C: ? Why couldn't Microsoft offer some indication of what is wrong when you try to open a blocked help file? I wish I knew...
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